Tag Archives: Gopichand

Gopichand To Inspect The Badminton Venue After Meghalaya’s Withdrawal Threat

GUWAHATI: Hosting the 12th South Asia Games (SAG) along with Assam is under threat in Meghalaya and the games technical committee too writing the conditions unsuitable for the event, and plans to shift the venue of badminton event from Shillong to Guwahati after the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has deputed national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand to carry out the final assessment of the venue and will inspect the Badminton Venue After Meghalaya’s Withdrawal Threat.


Gopichand, who was supposed to arrive at Shillong on Saturday had to reschedule his visit till January 13 after his flight from New Delhi was cancelled due to heavy foggy conditions, Meghalaya State Olympic Association working president John F Kharshiing told TOI.

“Gopichand’s view will be very crucial for us but we look forward positively for an early resolution of the impasse. We would certainly like to get on with the games,” Kharshiing said.

Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma has personally stepped in and is making all-out efforts to block the moves to shift badminton event out of Shillong. The state sports secretary has also written to the IOA and SAI against this move.

Karshiing. (Image Courtesy: www.youtube.com).

John F Karshiing.
(Image Courtesy: www.youtube.com).

On Tuesday F Kharshiing sent out emails to director general of SAI Injeti Srinivas, CEO, 12th SAG 2016, Shillong, IOA president N Ramachandran, IOA secretary general Rajeev Mehta and IOA joint secretary Rakesh Gupta seeking immediate intervention for resolving the crisis.

Union minister of state for sports and youth welfare Sarbananda Sonowal has also assured to intervene and said that the sentiments of the people of Meghalaya would have to be respected.

Trump Matches Will Add To Excitement In PBL: Gopichand

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

MUMBAI: The introduction of trump matches in the upcoming Premier Badminton League (PBL) will add to the excitement level in the event that kicks off here on January 2 next year, said national team coach Pullela Gopichand.

“It’s a great addition to the league to ensure that the excitement remains till the end of the tie,” said Gopichand at the unveiling ceremony of the logo and team colours of the city’s PBL franchise, Mumbai Rockets.

Gopichand also explained how the trump match concept will add to the overall excitement of the six-team PBL.

Pullela Gopichand.(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

Pullela Gopichand.
(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

“Each team has to nominate a trump match from among five matches. Teams have to finalise their line-up one and a half hours before the tie. At that time they have to mention which will be their trump match,” said the national team coach.

“The winner of the trump match gains one extra point and the loser (who nominated it as its trump match) will lose one point. Two teams can nominate the same match as trump match. This ensures that the last two matches are also important in a tie.

“Even a 3-0 lead is not sufficient to win as you still can lose the tie. Spectators’ interest will be kept alive. It needs to be seen how the players react to the extra pressure. Some play better under pressure and some others crack,” he said.

Mumbai Rocket’s Canadian coach Ram Nayyar also quoted that the trump match could turn out to be the key and his players’ experience would stand it in good stead in this format.

“The introduction of trump matches is exciting. Our experience will be good in trump matches. But it depends on how well we perform in it,” he said.

Mumbai Rockets squad member and Indian world no. 20, H. S. Prannoy, said his team looked well-balanced on paper.

“Over the last two years I have been playing really well, along with Gurusaidutt. We both are in good form. We are a pretty balanced outfit. We have really good doubles players too,” said the 23-year-old who hails from Kerala.

Top Danish doubles player Mathias Boe felt it was important for the team to start well at its home base where it plays two games — against Awadh Warriors (January 2) and against Chennai Smashers (January 3).

“Our team is really strong. If we can start off well in the first two matches at home we can gain confidence for the other matches,” said the 35-year-old who is currently world no. 4 in men’s doubles.

Apart from Prannoy, Guru and Boe, the Mumbai Rockets squad is made up of Han Li, Liu Zi Die (both China), Ruthvika Gadde (India) to play in women’s singles, Vladimir Ivanov (Russia), Manu Attri (India), Chayut Triyachart (Thailand) in men’s/mixed doubles and Kamilla Juhl (Denmark) in women’s/mixed doubles.

Gopichand maintained that all the teams appeared well-balanced.

“I am personally excited with PBL. All the teams look very strong on paper and it’s going to be a challenge to predict the winner. Teams are well-balanced. I am expecting a lot of fireworks.

“The league actually helps a lot of young and aspiring players to compete against the big names in the world. It’s exciting for the crowd too,” he added.

“The way I look at it today, with whatever challenges we have had to face, the players we have is fantastic. We have players like Lee Chong Wei, Boe, Ivanov, Joachim Fischer.

“Yes, we did not have it for one year, but at least we have it now and hopefully it will continue. During the last edition players like Srikanth were coming up. Actually they came to prominence in IBL. This time they are at a stage when people are looking up to them. They have to deliver, it’s almost the maturing of a player. We will see how it happens.

“All said and done the pressure is more when playing against a foreign or fellow-Indian player in India. You will be scrutinized much more and actually it makes players mature faster,” he said.

“Carolina was there last year, but did not even play all matches. Yes her stature is at a higher level now. She will be missed, but the level is still very high which makes it definitely exciting. Yes, I would definitely love to have more players but it does not make it any less (attractive),” he said.

“Even though it’s an Olympic year (2016), players had shown a great amount of commitment to play. Many of them have rescheduled their existing matches and that’s very encouraging. It’s the year-end and some of them have really gone out of their way. I believe so (because of the good experience during the last edition).”

Lin, Marin Likely To Stay Away From Premier Badminton League

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

MUMBAI: The 2nd edition of Premier Badminton League (PBL) is about to kick-off this Saturday after a two-year gap.

This PBL will not see the world no.1 Carolina Marin and Lin Dan, a two time olympic champion not participating in the tournament is a virtue by the fact that the Rio olympics is just seven months in the tort with many other major tournaments underway for the Olympic qualification.

The PBL is followed by Malaysia Masters (Jan. 19-24), Syed Modi International (Jan 26-31), Thailand Masters (Feb. 8-13), German Open (Mar. 1-6) and Swiss Open (Mar. 15-20) and these tournaments offer crucial ranking points. The All England Championships (March 8-13) would also be high on their priority. Hence, squeezing the PBL in such a packed calendar would have been quite a challenge for the organizers, with many players choosing to enjoy the winter break with their families.

Pullela Gopichand.(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

Pullela Gopichand.
(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

National coach Pullela Gopichand quoted on this occasion saying,
“Lin Dan is not coming. May be he will come in the next edition. Carolina was there last year, but did not even play all matches. Yes, her stature is higher now. She will be missed, but the level is still very high which makes it exciting. Yes, I would love to have more players, but it does not make it any less,” Gopichand told reporters at the launch of the Mumbai Rockets team here on Wednesday.

“Even though it’s an Olympic year (2016), players have shown a great amount of commitment to play. Many of them have rescheduled their existing matches and that’s very encouraging. It’s the year-end and some of them have really gone out of their way. The way I look at it today, with whatever challenges we have had to face, the players we have is fantastic. We have players like Lee Chong Wei (former World No. 1), Mathias Boe, Vladimir Ivanov, Joachim Fischer.

“Each day you will see a Saina playing, Sindhu playing or a world champion playing or an Olympic medallist playing. To have it in different cities, for example to see a Saina play or Lee play, is fantastic. It will encourage kids to watch,” the 42-year-old added.

Mumbai Rocket’s star shuttler H.S. Prannoy also supported Gopichand’s views and commented,

“It is a great learning experience for the youngsters to play alongside big names in the badminton world. PBL has given us the stage for this and we have to make the best use of it,” said the World No. 20 Prannoy.

Gopichand also quoted that a bigger contingent for the Olympics will help India better their tally from London Games.

“There is lot of time before the Olympics. The qualifications for the event haven’t started yet. There are a lot of tournaments before the Olympics for the shuttlers to prepare themselves. To better the performance than what we had done in 2012 would be great. I think to have a bigger contingent there will give us a chance to clinch as many medals as possible. I believe all of our players who qualify will stand a chance to win medals,” accoladed Gopi.

Trump Match, A Big Challenge For Coaches: Kidambi Srikanth

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

BENGALURU: India shuttler Kidambi Srikanth on Tuesday said the new rule of ‘Trump Match’, introduced in the second edition of Premier Badminton League (PBL), will be a big challenge for coaches.

“We have never done these kind of things and obviously it (The Trump Match) is exciting. There will be a lot of strategy involved in it. I think it is a very big job and a challenge for any coach,” he told reporters here after the launch of Bengaluru Top Guns team.

Kidambi Srikanth. (Image Courtesy: results.glasgow2014.com).

Kidambi Srikanth.
(Image Courtesy: results.glasgow2014.com).

Bengaluru Top Guns coach Arvind Bhat admitted that the rule will throw a big challenge for the coach. “The rule will throw a big challenge before the coach, and he has to take the right decision on it, so that the team gains bonus points rather than losing points and eventually losing the tie from a winning position, in rare cases,” Bhat said.

Bhat said the new rule involves lot of strategising which can play a vital role in some crunch matches, which will have an effect on the entire tournament.

“I think it is a very strategic thing, but at the same time it can play a very crucial role in some matches that will have cascading effect on the League,” he said.

In a Trump Match, the team calling for the Trump gets 2 points for win and -1 points for loss. However, the other team will play this match as a normal one. If both the teams place the trump on the same match, then for both of them +2 or -1 scoring will apply for win or loss respectively.

Ace Indian women’s doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa said the Trump Match is an exciting rule because a winning team could eventually turn out to be losers.

“The rule is exciting because anything can happen – you could still lose if you lose your Trump Match. So, that puts lot of pressure on players. It is a wonderful idea … it will be pretty nerve-wracking for people to watch as well,” she said.

India’s chief national coach Pullela Gopichand said Trump Match is a fantastic idea as it will keep spectators, viewers and players glued to the matches. “What it basically does is, if the tie is 3-0 up, teams can actually lose last two matches and lose the tie. So, basically every match is going down to the wire,” he said.

The Trump Match will make players realise where they stand in terms of class and how they fared in the high-pressure match, Gopichand said.

“At the end of the League, players will realise how they fared in Trump Matches,” he added.

As per the rules, both teams will specify which of the five matches will be their respective Trump Match along with the list of players at least one hour before the start of the tie with the referee.

A team winning the ‘Trump Match’, after selecting one of the five matches in a tie, would fetch them a bonus point and a negative point in case of defeat.

Saina and Srikanth Start Their Campaign With A Losing Spree


DUBAI: The BWF Super Series Finals got off to a flying start at the Hamdan Sports Complex here on Wednesday, but only for a dissapointing start for both Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth as they flattered in their respective opening league matches.

Saina.(Image Courtesy: www.thenational.ae).

Saina Nehwal during the BWF match against Okuhara of Japan.
(Image Courtesy: www.thenational.ae).

Saina was struggling to move as she has not fully recovered from the Achillus tendon injury, she acquird during the Thaihot China Open 2015 and this was capitalized by Okuhara from Japan who defeated Saina 21-14, 21-6/

Saina has never lost to Okuhara in their previous four meetings but on Wednesday, the Indian proved no match for the Japanese.

There were occasions in the match where she just could not reach the shuttle. “I am playing a match in the tournament after three weeks. I am short of match practice. I am not pushing myself too much because of injury. I began well but she probably got the idea that I am not stretching fully and managed to get lot of points on the drops.Competition is pretty tough here and there is no easy match in this tournament,” Saina told TOI.

Srikanth.(Image Courtesy: http:// timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

(Image Courtesy: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

Srikanth also failed to maintain his winning streak against Kento Momota of Japan and went down 13-21, 13-21. “I played the final in Indonesia just a couple of days back. Recovery period was too short for me to play here. I was playing the waiting game by involving him more in rallies. His cross court smashes proved very effective today,” said Srikanth.

Gopichand was not disappointed with the 22-year-old’s show. “Frankly speaking, I am not expecting big results from him. He has been playing and travelling for the last one month or so. He did a great job by reaching the final last week. I am happy that he has started winning again after some poor results.”


Doubles specialist Kim EyesPotential Doubles Players From India

(Image Courtesy: in.news.yahoo.com).

Tan Kim Her.
(Image Courtesy: in.news.yahoo.com).

NAGPUR: Tan Kim Her, the specialist doubles coach from Malaysia after guiding players of several countries has signed a five-year contract with the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and is now working with several bunch of players for the last three months at the Hyderabad-based Pullela Gopichand Academy.

“I accepted to sign the BAI contract after a long and deep thought. It is quite challenging and I am game for it. In India, there is more focus on the singles. Unlike Malaysia, Korea, Indonesia and China, doubles do not get equal importance in India. I have a big task to change that. I need time for this but I am sure by the time my contract expires after five years, India will be a force to reckon with in doubles too just like singles,” said Kim.

“I found lot of young talent in India particularly in the boys section. The present lot of seniors, I can train and improve them but I can’t make them champions now. The younger unit is quite promising. I’m putting my money on them. In one or two years, these youngsters will definitely challenge the seniors. MR Arjun, Satwikraj Krishna, Chirag Shetty and Kuhoo Garg are some of the youngsters I’m very impressed with,” said Kim

“If not this Rio Olympics, next Olympics in Tokyo 2020, I’m sure our players will be in medal contention in all the three doubles events. Youngsters are willing to work hard and ready to go the distance. There are not many top mixed doubles pairs in India in the world rankings. Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan are good and I will try to improve them,” he said.

Chief national coach Gopichand is pleased to have Kim on board. “I am pretty confident that Kim will bring in a revolution. He is an experienced campaigner, having travelled all over the world. He is the right man to do the job for us. I have given him a free hand as far as coaching of doubles players is concerned. Soon he will operate independently at my new academy, which is a couple of kilometres from the present academy. All the Indian doubles players will train at the new academy under Kim,” said Gopichand.

Kim’s future plans would be to focus on Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy and Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa for Rio Olympics, changing on partners on Trial and Erroe basis for better results, has requested BAI to send maximum pairs for various tournaments at the International level as International exposure is a must for talented junior players. And the last, not the least to target medals in Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Shuttle Express – IBL School Progamme launched in India

The Indian Badminton League has started a new programme called Shuttle Express which aims at promoting badminton at school level across the country and to become the biggest school badminton championships in the world.

IBL School Programme - Shuttle Express

IBL School Programme – Mumbai Leg – 2013

This programme is officially called IBLSP (Indian Badminton League School Progamme) and is backed by top Indian badminton stars such as Saina Nehwal, Gopichand, P.V. Sindhu, Ashwini Ponnappa, Jwala Gutta and Parupalli Kashyap.


As a part of the IBLSP, there will be an intra school competition from 12th to 14th of July, 2013, followed by the finals between 28th and 31st of August, coinciding with the IBL finals scheduled for 31st of August, 2013.

Top Indian shuttlers will visit the home towns of each of the six teams participating in IBL 2013 and interact with over five lakh students from the 120 schools in these cities.

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Bombay High Court – what about cricket and why only badminton?

The latest hot news in Badminton circles is about the Bombay High Court ruling questioning the ethics behind Gopichand being the national coach as well as the person running a private badminton academy. This question was raised after Prajakta Sawant had appealed stating that she was left out of the team as she had difference of opinion with Gopichand.

Now Jwala Gutta has asked the same question in a different form.

I am not sure if people are aware that the chairman of the BCCI selection committee, V.Srinivasan, is the owner of IPL. Dhoni is the captain of IPL as well as the national team. Isnt this conflict of interest? This has been there for many years now and no one asked any question.

The bottom line is, how could the court turn deaf ears when it comes to cricket while it is asking Gopi this question when it comes to badminton?

I am not here to say Gopi is right or wrong in what he is doing. I am only here to ask why the courts have a different yardstick for cricket and a different yard stick for badminton?